Bird is the word: Shabbat chicken with dried fruit

Bird is the word: Shabbat chicken with dried fruit

Best when marinated overnight, this easy recipe makes juicy chicken with glossy, caramelized skin. It works great as-is for Passover, too

Shabbat Chicken with Dried Fruit (Elizabeth Kurtz/JTA)
Shabbat Chicken with Dried Fruit (Elizabeth Kurtz/JTA)

I have served this chicken on Rosh Hashanah for years, and it’s a go-to for a quick and easy Shabbat recipe. The chicken gets caramelized from the glossy and delicious sauce. It’s best when marinated overnight, so be sure to plan ahead and start it early.

1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup dried apricots, prunes, or a combination of any dried fruit
12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 bay leaves
2 (3-to-4-pound) chickens, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine

Overflowing containers of dried fruits -- from near and far -- at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90)
Overflowing containers of dried fruits — from near and far — at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90)

In a small bowl, pour orange juice over dried fruit and let soak to plump the fruit, about 10 minutes. In a separate small bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, oregano, thyme, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and bay leaves.

Place chickens in two roasting pans. Pour marinade equally over each chicken and massage into chicken. Add orange juice and fruit mixture equally to each roasting pan.

Cover pans and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and then drizzle equally with brown sugar and white wine. Bake until chicken is nicely browned on top and registers 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Serve with pan juices and dried fruit.

This dish is perfect as-is for Passover.

The chicken tastes best when marinated a minimum of 4 hours and preferably overnight.

Can be prepared 2 days ahead of time. Store, covered, in the refrigerator or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator. Rewarm, covered, in a warming drawer or 300°F oven.

This recipe is excerpted from “Celebrate: Food, Family, Shabbos” by Elizabeth Kurtz.

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